CultureWaves F.A.Q.

What is CultureWaves?

CultureWaves is a consultancy and content creation company that provides qualitative data to some of the biggest companies in the world. We use a proprietary software to track human behavior and provide the evolution across various categories of life—so companies can see how behavior is evolving and better determine what might be next. Our business is built around creating relevance for brands, businesses and publishers as they build content, create advertising campaigns, do product development and innovation activities, and generally engage with their customers.

Learn more about us here.

How do I talk to someone with CultureWaves?

We try to make it easy by giving you a variety of options.

2215 W. Chesterfield Blvd.
Springfield, MO 65807


What is a Wave?

A wave is a generalized behavior pattern (macrotrend) that we use to monitor consumer actions and translate those into trends. We believe that by watching the behavior “wave” before it breaks on shore allows companies to get ahead of the competition and be ready for what’s coming. We have more than 30 Waves that we watch on a regular basis.

How do you define “trend”?

CultureWaves is able to determine trends, but its ontology weeds out what we call “flash in the pan” behaviors that are more “trendy” than trending. We define “trend” as something that is developing (as opposed to something that is “the latest”). Understanding what is developing can help a brand decide what new products to get into the development pipeline, or what content will be of interest to an audience down the road, thus allowing for production time.

I have quant data; why do I need you?

We are supporters of quantitative analysis. It tells you who is doing what, and when, depending on the questions you ask. CultureWaves is qualitative in nature, watching behavior on an on-going basis and telling you “why” people do what they do. Think of it this way: Traditional research measures the impact of behavior on people. CultureWaves measures the behavior as it reacts to the things happening in life, and reports how behavior impacts decisions.

What is the World Thought Bank™?

The WTB is the database within our proprietary software that houses “thoughts” that have been inputted by human curators since the company started ten years ago. We call it that because, while it sounds a bit overwhelming (OK, pompous), we really are watching the behavior of the world and capturing what people are thinking. It’s the kind of data that couldn’t have been easily collected before the Internet, and we came up with a software early enough to have a great record of thought through the economy’s good times and bad. Just ask for one of our evolutionary timelines around a category of your choice and you’ll see how it works.

The software platform that holds the World Thought Bank was built using a set of calculations formed to solve the problem of how to capture and categorize a thought so that it could be compared and analyzed. We’ve recently updated it and put it on a graph-based platform so that the relationships are even easier to find and categorize. It’s really, well, pretty well thought out, if you’ll excuse the pun.

How do you define “behavior”?

Behavior is simply the response of a person or people to internal or external stimuli. Behavior Mapping is research conducted through systematic observation. Traditional behavior mapping is generally focused on tracking an individual’s movements. The CultureWaves process is to track the behavior of the general public as it is talked about or reported in online communications. Rather than patterns of movement, we look at the commonalities of behavior across a set ontology.

Bet your next question is: How do you define “culture”?

We define “culture” as the unique interactions that occur in groups of humans. Our proprietary software is designed to capture evidence of behavior within cultures and allow us to compare, contrast, and group those behaviors in order to draw conclusions.

Who is on your team?

We have a curator network of paid and volunteer curators, working both in-house and as remotes. All curators have a manager overseeing their training and input, and there is a certification process they go through before they are given the reins. We also have translators who pull the data and prepare those all-important summaries, writers who prepare white papers and blog posts, and a full production house partner so we can go ahead and prepare video content to help our clients with quick response to a trend evolution. We have all the necessary backups with accounting, management, HR, too. In other words, we gave up the garage years ago.

What are your products?

We have three basic products within our consultancy, plus the ability to provide full production.

DIVE: A DIVE is an in-depth look at a category of your choice, done on a project basis. It includes an evolution of the behavior around that category, evidence of current behavior, identification of key insights and white space opportunities, and needs states of the target audience. These are one-at-a-time consultancy projects.

SCOUT: A SCOUT is an in-the-moment look at any the evidence around any subject of your choice, without the key insights, opportunities or needs states. These are generally retainer-based, offering a set amount of reports per month based on the client’s needs.

VOICE: First-of-its-kind, needs-based segmentation solution combining AI (artificial intelligence) and HI (human intelligence). Our science reveals your most valuable customer types through their digital behavior. By monitoring key personas and archetypes on a regular basis, you can track, analyze, and observe shifts in behavior to gain insights on your core customers and uncover new segments to grow your business.

Sparcwire: The “front page” of CultureWaves is available as a stand-alone product, particularly suitable for marketing intelligence on a grassroots, everyday basis—perfect for those who want to follow a category quickly. This is available on a subscription basis.